Infants & Children: When to Call the Doctor

When to Call the Doctor

If your little one is feeling ill and you’re not completely sure what to do, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone. Sometimes it helps to get a second opinion to reassure your knowledge and instincts as a parent.

Here’s how to know if it’s time to call your child’s doctor+:


Child is UNDER 3 months (12 weeks)

Has a temperature of 38.0°C / 100.4°F or higher

Keep in mind that you know your child best. Always follow your instinct and call the doctor if you feel something is wrong.


Child is OVER 3 months (12 weeks)

Has a temperature of 40.0°C / 104°F or higher


Has a temperature of 38.0°C / 100.4°F or higher PLUS any of these symptoms:

  • Severe headache
  • Repeated vomiting or diarrhea
  • Strange rash
  • Sore throat or ear pain
  • Stiff neck
  • Looks very ill or is extremely drowsy/fussy
  • Has been in a very hot place (such as an overheated car)
  • Has underlying immune system problems, seizure history, or takes steroids

Child has ANY of the following

  • Seems to be getting worse, even with comfort measures
  • Is between 3 and 24 months and still has a fever (38.0°C / 100.4°F or higher) after 24 hours
  • Is 24 months or older and still has a fever (38.0°C / 100.4°F or higher) after 3 days or still “acts sick” when the fever goes away

If you do call your child’s doctor, make sure to let them know which type (Infants' TYLENOL® or Children's TYLENOL®, etc.) and strength of medicine you're giving to your child, if any. Also, inform them if your child has any underlying risk factors that could cause further complications.

Note: This information does not constitute a diagnosis of any medical condition or medical advice. Do not substitute the information herein for medical advice. Always consult your physician or health care provider if you have medical or health questions or concerns.

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Children's TYLENOL® Liquid

A fever reducer and pain reliever in kid-friendly flavors.

Things to watch out for.

These five symptoms can mean a more serious infection.